Thursday, July 29, 2010

Geoffrey Bawa Awards for Architecture 2010 /2011 Launched in Colombo

Convened by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, a media briefing was held in Colombo to launch Geoffrey Bawa Awards for Architecture 2010/2011 on July 23, 2010 at the late Architect’s residence, who would have celebrated his 91st birthday on the same day.
Architect Channa Daswatte and Ms. Sunethra Bandaranaike addressed the media on the background of the Awards and submission details, as well as what the Awards mean not only to Architects, but also to the society of Sri Lanka.
Applications are called from contenders to the Award on the prescribed forms available at the offices of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust and will be available from the July 23, 2010 from 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. and on week days thereon from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Documents should be submitted by November 15, 2010. Once again the award will be a sum of one million rupees and the winner chosen from the shortlist of 10 announced in May 2011. The winner will be announced at a gala event held on July 23, 2011 – Geoffrey Bawa’s 92nd birth anniversary, where the renowned author Michael Ondaatje has agreed to make the keynote address.

The judges will be Suhanya Raffel (Trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust and Deputy Director Curatorial and Collection development at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane Australia), Archt. Kerry Hill, Singapore, Archt. Jayantha Perera (Immediate Past President and nominee of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects) and Mr. Ajita de Costa (Textile technologist, industrialist and heritage conservationist).

The Geoffrey Bawa Trust will embark on a national Awards scheme for the second time to recognize and reward outstanding architectural work for architecture in Sri Lanka. The main objective of the Awards is to provide national recognition to the professionals and their contribution to the community and the Country. By honouring them, the Trust will help them advance in their careers and personal networks and provide significant profiling and visibility so as to create additional opportunities and exposure to them through their association “With the world renowned name Geoffrey Bawa”.

The Award, is open to all Sri Lankans and seeks out the broadest possible range of architectural interventions. The Award specifically hopes to encourage and learn more about the works of younger architects while being a forum for emerging talent. There are no fixed criteria as to the size, type, nature or location of project. The awards embraces all kinds of building projects ranging from modest small scale interventions to major complexes in housing and urban complexes that keeps a focus on the community and its neighborhoods. The Geoffrey Bawa Awards scheme has been consciously modeled on the scheme, which is run by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Geneva. That is generally acknowledged to have had a very marked effect on architecture in developing countries since it was inaugurated by His Highness The Aga Khan in 1977 and has now completed eleven of its three- year cycles. The Trust also acknowledges the importance of the honour, that was bestowed upon Deshamanya Bawa when he received The Aga Khan’s Special Award for a Lifetime’s Achievement in Architecture in 2001.

Geoffrey Bawa is now recognized as having been one of the greatest Asian architects of the second half of the Twentieth Century and one of the most significant Sri Lankans of his generation. With his small group of talented assistants and his circle of creative friends and collaborators, he established a whole canon of prototypes for new buildings in newly independent Sri Lanka.

During a career that spanned forty years Bawa designed about thirty hotels, of which fourteen were realized, twelve of them in Sri Lanka. The Bentota Beach and Serendib hotels were the first purpose-built hotels to be built in the island and they set the standards for the rest to follow. Both contributed immeasurable to the image of Sri Lanka that was projected to the rest of the world. Many Guide Books to the island now include his buildings as “must see” places and rate his hotels as the best on the island.

For more information on the Geoffrey Bawa Awards for Architecture 2010/2011 cycle, and/or to become a sponsor, contact Nuzreth Jalaldeen on (011) 2375666 or(011)2375666 ext: 139 or